United States District Court, D. Maryland
LAMAR A. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff
MICHAEL C. HANLON, Assistant United States Attorney, ROBERT K. HUR, U.S. Attorney for District of Maryland, DAVID LUTZ, Assistant U.S. Marshal, STEPHANIE A. GALLAGHER, U.S. Magistrate Judge, J. MARK COULSON, U.S. Magistrate Judge, KENNETH M. LANGSTON, Senior U.S. Probation Officer, HELEN DONOVAN, Social Worker, LAUREN M. ELFNER, Assistant United States Attorney, Individual Capacity & Official Capacity, BRYAN K. FORMAN, Individual Capacity & Official Capacity,  REBECCA S. TALBOTT, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Individual Capacity & Official Capacity, BEVERLY GRIFFITH, Attorney Advisor, Individual Capacity & Official Capacity, JAMES K. BREDAR, Chief Judge, United States District Court of Maryland, Individual Capacity & Official Capacity, ROGER L. GREGORY, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Individual Capacity & Official Capacity, PATRICIA CONNOR, Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Individual Capacity and Official Capacity, STEPHANIE VASSAR, Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Individual Capacity & Official Capacity, Defendants
Richard D. Bennett, United States District Judge.
Williams, a Maryland resident, has filed a 42-page Complaint
seeking money damages for injuries sustained as a result of
his July 3, 2018 arrest and subsequent conviction for
criminal contempt of court in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
Accompanying the Complaint is Williams' Motion for Leave
to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 9), which shall be
case arises from and is related to the cases of Williams
v. Baltimore County, Civil Action No. GLR-17-66 and
United States v. Williams, Criminal No. TDC-18-413.
The civil action seeking damages under the Americans with
Disabilities Act arose after Williams was terminated from
employment with Baltimore County. During those proceedings
Williams was ordered not to contact the chambers of the
presiding judge, the Honorable James Bredar, via email or
telephone and to only communicate in writing via documents
filed with the Clerk. Dissatisfied with the conduct of those
proceedings, Williams filed complaints against Judge Bredar
with the Judicial Council of the Fourth Circuit Court of
subsequently violated the court order barring him from
contacting chambers and the matter was referred to the United
States Marshal for investigation. Ultimately, Williams was
charged with one count of criminal contempt in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 401 and, after a bench trial, was convicted
and sentenced to 47 days' confinement. Williams'
appeal of that conviction remains pending. See
Criminal No. TDC-18-413.
by the actions of the court, Williams filed this case which,
for reasons that follow, may not proceed.
brings his action against Michael C. Hanlon, Robert K. Hur,
Brian K. Forman, and Lauren Elmer, United States Attorneys
involved in the prosecution of his criminal case in this
District; David Lutz, the Assistant U.S. Marshal involved in
his arrest; United States Magistrate Judges Stephanie A.
Gallagher and J. Mark Coulson, who held hearings during
Williams's criminal proceedings; Kenneth M. Langston and
Helen Donovan, employees of the United States Pretrial and
Probation Office who participated in Williams's criminal
proceedings; Rebecca S. Talbott, an Assistant Federal Public
Defender who represented Williams; Beverly Griffith, a
federal court employee who testified at Williams's
criminal proceedings; and the Honorable James K. Bredar, the
Chief Judge of this District who presided over Williams'
civil case. Additionally, he sues the Honorable Robert L.
Gregory, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit, and Patricia Connor, Clerk of the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and her
employee, Stephanie Vassar, for their actions in adjudicating
and processing Williams's judicial complaint against
precise nature of Williams' Complaint is unclear. He
cites numerous Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that neither
confer a jurisdictional basis for this action nor suggest a
nature of suit. He also cites statutory provisions,
including 28 U.S.C. §§ 351-364(concerning
complaints against judges and judicial discipline);
"Chapter 3 § 320, Article I, 3 (Defmitions)(h)(D),
(h)(E) & (h)(G)"; 42 USC § 12203 (prohibition
against retaliation and coercion); 28 U.S.C. § 4101
(defining defamation), and the 7th Amendment (concerning the
right to a civil jury trial), 14th Amendment (concerning due
process and equal protection); various civil rights statutes,
including 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (equal rights), § 1983
(civil action for deprivation of rights), and § 1985
(conspiracy to interfere with civil rights); 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1621 (perjury generally); § 1623 (false
declarations before grand jury or court); and 28 U.S.C.
§ 455 (disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate
judge); the Privacy Act of 1974, 38 U.S.C. § 7332
(confidentiality of certain Veterans' medical records)
and 31 C.F.R. 501.733 (concerning evidence regarding
confidential information, protective orders for regulating
money and foreign assets control within the Department of the
Treasury). Maryland rules concerning disclosure of records as
well as the American Bar Association Model Code of
Professional Responsibility are also referenced. Williams,
however, fails to explain how Defendants' conduct is
alleged to violate these codifications and rules which, in
any event, either fail to provide a basis creating a private
cause of action or are clearly inapplicable to Williams'
filed this Complaint in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(1), which permits an indigent litigant to
commence an action in this Court without prepaying the filing
fee. To guard against possible abuses of this privilege, the
statute requires dismissal of any claim that is frivolous or
malicious or fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted. 28 U.S.C. § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(i) and
(ii). A Complaint that is legally frivolous may
also be dismissed at its inception for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction pursuant to Fed R. Civ. P 12 (b)(1). See
Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d 477 (6th Cir. 1999);
O'Connor v. United States, 159 F.R.D. 22 (D. Md.
1994); see also Crowley Cutlery Co. v. United
States, 849 F.2d 273, 277 (7th Cir. 1988) (federal
district judge has authority to dismiss a frivolous suit on
his own initiative).
Court is mindful, however, of its obligation to liberally
construe self-represented pleadings, such as the instant
Complaint, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007), and in so doing assumes the factual allegations are
true. Id. at 93, citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Nonetheless,
liberal construction does not mean that this Court can ignore
a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set
forth a cognizable claim. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990); see also
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th
Cir. 1985) (stating a district court may not "conjure up
questions never squarely presented"). In making this
determination, "[t]he district court need not look
beyond the complaint's allegations" but "must
hold the pro se complaint to less stringent standards than
pleadings drafted by attorneys and must read the complaint
liberally." White v. White, 886 F.2d 721,
722-723 (4th Cir. 1989).
these standards in mind, the Court finds that Williams has
failed to articulate allegations which may be suitably
addressed by this Court or to which the named Defendants This
authority exists because the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over a legally frivolous claim, thereby making
dismissal prior to service permissible. See Ricketts v.
Midwest Nat'l Bank, 874 F.2d 1177, 1181-83 (7th Cir.
1989); Franklin v. Or. State Welfare Div., 662 F.2d
1337, 1342-43 (9th Cir. 1981); see also Apple v.
Glenn, 183 F.3d 477 (6th Cir. 1999); O'Connor v.
United States, 159 F.R.D. 22 (D. Md. 1994); Crowley
Cutlery Co. v. United States, 849 F.2d 273, 277 (7th
Cir. 1988) (federal district judge has authority to dismiss a
frivolous suit on his own initiative). should be required to